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WESTERN 3 GUN is an action shooting sport that requires 1900 period guns, an alias, and period dress. Listed below are a set of basic rules for competing in the sport.

ALIAS: Just like the “Old West” gunfighters, it is desired that contestants have an alias, but your own name may be used. Alias’ already used in other organizations will be reserved until December 31, 2005. After that, they will be offered to general membership.

DRESS: Minimum dress required for a W3G match is jeans, western style shirt, western boots, and a cowboy hat. Other accessories such as western chaps, spurs, vests or pocket watches are encouraged but not required. W3G does not allow ball caps, t-shirts, hiking boots with lug tread or sneakers of any kind.


PISTOL: Any single action revolver in .32 caliber or larger, in safe working order. Sights may be modified, however they must remain a front blade type sight with a rear window or notch. Adjustable rear sights are allowed. No coloring of sights other than black will be allowed. No target grips or fiber optic sights allowed. All firearms are subject to W3G approval.

RIFLE: 1866, 1873, 1892, 1894, Henry, Lightning, Marlin and any other lever action pistol caliber rifle in .32 center fire or larger with an exposed hammer, that is in safe working order.

SHOTGUN: Single and double barrel guns with no ejectors, 1887 lever and 1897 pump action guns with exposed hammers. All guns must be 20 gauge or larger, in safe working order. No Marlin shotguns.


Pistol ammo is limited to a maximum muzzle velocity of 1000 fps.

Rifle ammo must not exceed a muzzle velocity of 1400 fps.

Shot size is limited to a #6 lead shot or smaller.

No armor piercing, steel core, or steel jacketed bullets allowed. Frangible bullets are allowed and encouraged. Any questionable ammo is subject to chronograph and possible disqualification from the match.

HOLSTERS AND AMMO BELTS: Each holster must be of a traditional western style, made of leather or canvas, capable ofretaining the gun throughout the course of fire. Holsters are to be worn one on each side of the belly button. All ammo carrying belts must be worn on the body, either as a belt type worn at or below the belly button, or as a pouch on the belt. Shotgun belts may not hold more than two rounds per loop. Rifle and pistol ammo must be in individual loops. Slides are allowed, and bandoleers must be worn in a traditional style over the shoulder.


OPEN CLASS: This class is for the highly competitive shooter, however all are welcome. Any stage can be shot with any style. This is strictly a “go fast” class and shooters will compete for cash and prizes within this class only. There is no age distinction in the Professional Class.

SHOOTIST CLASS: (Fixed and adjustable pistol sights allowed) This class allows the shooter to shoot with both hands. However, if a shooter feels that it is to his advantage on any stage to fire his or her pistol with either hand unsupported, he or she may do so. This class will be divided into Men’s and Women’s age based groups beginning with Tenderfoot ages 10-14, Junior’s ages 15-17, 18 thru 29, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

DUELIST: A shooter that chooses to fire one gun at a time unsupported and may use either hand to do so. There are no age distinctions in this class.

GUNFIGHTER: A shooter that draws both pistols at the same time and fires consecutively. The shooter may at his discretion, draw one gun at a time to complete the course of fire. No gun may be holstered until all rounds from that gun have been expended. Holsters must be one left and one right. No crossdraws are allowed in this class.

BLACKPOWDER CARTRIDGE: This class allows the shooter to shoot with both hands. 97’ shotguns are permitted, and ammunition shall be loaded with black powder or an equivalent substitute.

CAP AND BALL: This class requires the shooter to shoot duelist. Revolvers must be a minimum of .36 caliber. Shotguns must be of a side by side design with or without exposed hammers. Ammunition shall be loaded with black powder or an equivalent substitute.

SCORING: Western 3 Gun utilizes a total time scoring system with reactionary targets that score a one second bonus per hit. A reactionary target will be defined as any target with a center knockout or center scoring ring that when hit will reduce the shooter’s time by 1 second. W3G recommends using 5 to 10 reactionary targets per stage. Comstock scoring is also allowed. Targets are to be painted between shooters for a more accurate accounting of hits and misses. A miss in a total time match will add 5 seconds to the shooter’s time.

COACHING: Coaching will be allowed and encouraged in all amateur classes. Prior to the stage starting the RO will ask the shooter if they desire to be coached. If the shooter says “yes” they must accept the outcome of the stage.

There will be no coaching allowed in the Professional Class. If an unsafe situation should arise, the RO will assist the shooter or stop the shooter if necessary.

HITS AND MISSES: Hit: A hit is defined as any strike on the target, including edgers.

Miss: All guns may be reloaded to reengage a missed target.

PENALTIES: In the event that there is a penalty for not following stage instructions or opening the action on a long gun when empty, 10 seconds will be added to the shooter’s time. A shooter cannot be started in a faulted position. If shells or guns are to be staged, it is the responsibility of the RO to make sure that the stage is ready for the shooter to start. Starting the stage without proper items staged will be grounds for a reshoot. If there is no start position stated, any start position is acceptable.

STAGE DISQUALIFICATIONS: A dropped, unloaded gun during a course of fire is a stage DQ. Breaking the 180 degree plane is a stage DQ. Holstering an empty cocked gun is stage DQ.

MATCH DISQUALIFICATIONS: A dropped, loaded gun during a course of fire is a match DQ. Holstering a loaded cocked gun is a match DQ. An accidental discharge that impacts within 5 feet of a person is a match DQ. Two stage DQ’s will result in a match DQ.


Eye and ear protection must be worn at all times.

Once the timer has started, you own the stage. (NO DO OVERS!!!)

A gun malfunction must be declared and grounded or handed off. Finish the stage of fire unless directed by the Range Officer to “cease fire”. Any reshoot must be approved by the head RO.

A shooter must not move with a finger in the trigger guard while the hammer is cocked, unless he or she is actively aiming at or engaging a target.

State and Regional matches will be in a Pro/Am format to enable the highly competitive shooter to shoot for cash and prizes within their own class, while the amateur shooter will compete for trophies and awards within their classes.

W3G considers each of its side matches as a single event. Side matches at a W3G event will carry the same penalties as the main match. Side matches are separate from the main match, and any penalties or safeties pertain only to the side match and will not be carried over into the main match.